Thursday, January 08, 2015

Wind farm incidents raise serious safety concerns

Fine Gael TD for Meath East, Regina Doherty, has said today (Thursday) that two serious incidents in the last week involving wind turbines raises legitimate safety concerns about the structures.

“In the last number of days an 80 metre wind turbine collapsed in Northern Ireland while a 30 metre blade fell from a turbine in Co. Kerry. Nobody was injured in these incidents but it does raise legitimate questions about the safety of these structures and how close to houses they should be located.

“I raise these concerns because in North County Meath a planning application has been lodged for 46 turbines with a maximum height of 169 metres.

“It is proposed that this development would be located in what is a rural, but highly residential area. I have been very clear about my feelings on the current planning regulations and the inadequacy of the current planning guidelines related to wind farms.

“I urge the Minister for Environment to urgently publish and implement the long-planned new guidelines related to wind turbines and apply these guidelines to present applications such as the one in North Meath.

“The size of wind turbines has increased threefold and it is accepted that the planning guidelines as they stand are not fit for purpose.”